Thursday 14 August 2008

GM twins and Cadillac CTS Coupe spied at Milford, Saab 9-4X spied in Austria

Spy photographers had to use extra long-lenses to capture the 2009 Cadillac SRX, CTS Coupe and Chevrolet Equinox undergoing high-speed tests at GM's Milford testing grounds in Michigan, U.S. The Saab 9-4X was spied in Austria undergoing towing and altitude testing.

Despite official drawings of all 4 vehicles leaked onto the web, disguise is slowly stripping off.

2010 Cadillac SRX, Saab 9-4X, Chevrolet Equinox:

The Cadillac styling cues up front are unmistakable on the SRX, while the profile is similar to the Provoq concept as expected. The rear end gets a pair of tall, vertical tail-lights and a relatively small window.

The new SRX is slightly smaller than the large Escalade and will seat 5 people. The SUV built on a modified version of GM's midsize sedan platform. Entry level models are expected to use a 210bhp 2.8 litre V6, while a more powerful 300bhp, 3.6-litre V6 will be offered as an option. A 250bhp, 2.9 litre turbo-diesel is expect in Europe. This engine will snap-up most sales.

The 2010 SRX will officially debut sometime next year at the Detroit motorshow.

The Saab 9-4X is currently undergoing gruelling towing and altitude testing in Austria. Sources have claimed this particular prototype has a 284bhp V6 engine under the hood mated to an automatic gearbox. The dimensions of the model stand at a length 4900mm/4.9 metres bringing an estimated kerb weight to around 2180kg.

Styling follows the same theme as the 9-4X BioPower Concept with the aggressive half oval grille remaining intact, but obviously the overall profile of the vehicle had to be heavily toned down for production.

It should makes its world debut at next year's Detroit motorshow along with the Caddy BRX, before production commences at the GM factory in Mexico.

Despite the official leak, GM test teams have continued to run heavily camouflaged prototypes on public roads and even within GM test tracks. That changed when a fully uncovered prototype hit one of General Motors' internal test loops, allowing spies to get the first spy shots of an unclad Equinox from multiple angles.

You can now get a much better feel for the interplay of the C- and D-pillars, and the pleasing chiseled nature of the rear hatch. The tail-lights have some interesting surface development, although from the the side they look a bit like the rear lamps on the Dodge Durango.

Chevrolet continues to experiment with fuel-cell versions of the old Equinox, but we expect the new version to come with a standard V6 engine from GM. A similar vehicle will be marketed as the GMC Terrain.

2010 Cadillac CTS Coupe:

Cadillac CTS engineers have now ditched the thick front and rear fascia covers on the CTS Coupe. Now all that separates from the production styling of the CTS coupe is some checkerboard tape and about a half-mile of distance between the camera and the prototype. The taped camouflage, long distance, and slightly foggy conditions all conspired to keep some of the CTS coupe's finer styling details obfuscated, but the overall design treatment is clearly revealed.

In its uncovered state, the production CTS coupe still remains faithful to the original concept, but some minor changes are visible on the prototype's rear-end. The mesh vents which flank the central exhaust on the concept have been replaced with slim red reflectors, in a nod to safety standards on the production model. Also, the concept's number plate housing has been reshaped to accommodate both U.S and international registration plates, while a larger chrome strip adorns the trunk lid. The overall shape to the prototype's rear bumper looks nearly identical to the concept, right down to the careful sculpting at the bottom corners which wrap around toward the central exhaust.

The side window lines look just about identical on both cars, while the truly B-pillar-free design on the concept is less exotic on the production car. Stylists appear to have done an admirable job keep a smooth glass-to-glass effect on the side windows, but a B-pillar is still in place. The front-end on this prototype looks to be straight off the CTS sedan, without the subtle body kit applied to the concept's front fascia.

Expect the 2.8 and 3.6 litre V6 petrol engines to be available alongside a 2.9 litre V6 diesel engine in 2010.

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